• Italian Grand Prix

Vettel disagrees with penalty for Alonso incident

ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012 « Final stint was 'maximum attack' for Perez | Senna slams di Resta for pushing him off the track »
Sebastian Vettel's race came to a premature end when he was forced to stop with six laps to go © Press Association

Sebastian Vettel said he did not feel his drive-through penalty for forcing Fernando Alonso off-track during the Italian Grand Prix was deserved.

In almost a mirror image of 2011, Alonso attempted to pass Vettel around the outside of Curva Grande but was pushed on to the grass by the Red Bull and had to lift having had all four wheels on the dirt. A few laps later Alonso passed, but Vettel was still hit by a drive-through penalty by the stewards. When asked if he thought the punishment was fair, Vettel replied: "From my point of view it's not - I think I left enough room.

"It's extremely difficult; if you're behind you lose the front so I don't know what really happened to Fernando. I just saw that the next time I checked the mirror he was in the dirt. All in all I think he had much more pace, so he was faster and he passed me anyway."

Vettel also revealed that another alternator failure caused his retirement from the race, following one in FP3 on Saturday and another when leading in Valencia.

"[It was the] same failure as yesterday morning so not much to say. Renault will get lots of [criticism] I think but to be fair I tapped on the guys' shoulders and said 'No worries, we all do mistakes'. If you look back on Korea two years' ago it was painful, and to be honest it's not a Renault problem at this race or generally with the alternator, it's a supplier issue from Magneti Marelli so they need to get that part fixed."

Despite the retirement, when asked if he still felt he could win the title Vettel replied: "Yeah, for sure.

"I think nothing has changed. Obviously this was not a very good result for us; we didn't finish and it doesn't help that the other cars are finishing. Nevertheless there's still a long way ahead of us and we need to improve the car, we could see today the pace was not there. Nevertheless we were in a good position to finish fourth or fifth, something like that."